Captain David Walsh: (603) 271-3129
Lindsay Webb: (603) 271-1137
Jay Martin: (603) 271-3211
August 31, 2018
CONCORD, NH – Fall is a beautiful time of year to be in the woods. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooler, and the biting bugs are nearly gone. There is also plenty of opportunity to view wildlife as those animals that remain in New Hampshire, and those species that migrate south, prepare for their cold-weather transitions. September 1 heralds the start of fall hunting seasons in the Granite State, and as we progress into the popular deer season, here are some tips to keep all outdoor enthusiasts safe and happy this fall:
- Be aware of your surroundings. This seems like common sense, but remembering and acknowledging that it is hunting season will improve your awareness. Know the dates of hunting seasons in your area by looking them up online in the annual NH Fish and Game Hunting Digest: www.huntnh.com/ hunting/publications.html. Many hunting seasons, especially firearms seasons, are much shorter in duration than most people realize.
- Pick the right trail. During the fall, stick to established hiking trails. Hunters generally avoid heavily used hiking trails because activity in the forests generally spooks game species, so hunters will be deeper in the woods away from trails. The noise and foot traffic on main trails is not an ideal place to hunt.
- Pick the Right Time. Legal hunting hours in New Hampshire for most game are 1/2-hour before sunrise to 1/2-hour after sunset. Wildlife, and consequently hunters, are most active at dawn and dusk. Midday hikes when light conditions are optimal are best for the fall. You are also much less likely to run into a hunter during mid-week hikes because most hunting takes place on weekends.
- Wear hunter orange. If you live in New Hampshire, chances are you own at least one piece of bright “blaze” orange clothing, and the fall is the time to wear it. An orange hat, handkerchief, vest, or shirt is a must for this time of year. This will make you more visible to anyone in the woods. The best colors to wear are bright orange or bright pink, and don’t forget to put some orange on your family dog too!
- Make Some Noise. Talk, sing, or whistle to make your presence known in the woods. Chances are that who or what is out there already have heard you, and the singing will make you more noticeable. This is also great advice any time of year, and placing a bell on your dog’s collar is an excellent way to make continuous noise during a hike.
- Hike safe. Be sure to follow the hiker responsibility code by being knowledgeable about where you are going and what the local weather and terrain conditions are there, leaving your plans with someone, staying together, turning back in inclement weather or if you are running out of daylight, and planning for emergencies. Visit www.hikesafe.com for more information.
Fall is a great time to get outside, and with these tips we can all enjoy and share the outdoors safely. For more information on hiking, visit www.wildnh.com/outdoor-recreation/hiking-safety.html.